Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentine skipper Lionel Messi are considered to be the best footballers in the modern day. Both Cris and Leo have registered their names in the history books by breaking records for fun. Both the players compete to oust one another to become the best footballer in the world. “There is a big mutual respect between myself and Lionel Messi,” Cristiano Ronaldo told UK’s Coach Magazine in an interview.

Never in the history of the sport has two players emerged so decorated. The Madrid and Barca aces have taken their game beyond a level which is now practically unimaginable. Ronaldo recently admitted that Messi is the opposing player whom he admires the most. Everybody who takes a dig at Cristiano must know that Ronaldo may have a ego but he doesn’t carry a bad attitude. Ronaldo idolised Portugal legend Luis Figo while growing up.

Ronaldo and Messi’s rivalry is further fueled by the fact that they play in arch-rival clubs in the Spanish La Liga – Real Madrid and Barcelona. “The media like to make out like we have this big rivalry, but we don’t. It is not like we are good friends, but there is a mutual respect on both sides,” he added. When two footballers want to oust one another like anything, they go on to forge a rivalry, but that doesn’t mean they start to loath each other.

While, Ronaldo has been bestowed with the prestigious Ballon d’Or three times (2008, 2013, 2014). Messi has been honoured with the reputed title a record five times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2011, 2012, 2015). They are the messiahs of the modern game, encouraging millions of people worldwide to follow the sport they are so passionate about. Cris and Leo’s athleticism, acrobatic skills in addition to their exceptional dribbling talent makes them world-class! They might not prioritise building a friendship but they will always respect their rivalry. Now that is certainly something to cherish.

(Video: JN Football)